(BIVN) – Kīlauea volcano is still not erupting, and the unrest observed southwest of the summit has diminished over the past week.
However, there has been some unusual activity farther down on Kilauea’s Southwest Rift Zone. Scientists with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory made note of it in their Wednesday update.
For the first time in months, the boilerplate info found in the daily update under their Rift Zone Observations was changed to read the following:
Over the past week, a small cluster of several dozen earthquakes has occurred in the middle Southwest Rift Zone. Most events have been smaller than magnitude-2 and have located near the 1823 vents, at depths of 1-3 miles (1-5 km) below sea level. The rate of earthquakes occurring in this area has decreased over the past several days, and we continue to closely monitor this area. No unusual activity has been noted along the East Rift Zone; steady rates of ground deformation and seismicity continue.
The Observatory also published a map showing the recent unrest at the summit and on the Southwest Rift Zone. The yellow circles show earthquake locations from October 4th to November 5th. For the month of October, most of these events were occurring closer to the summit in an area known as the Southwest Rift connector. However, since October 30th, there has been a slight increase in seismicity in the middle Southwest Rift Zone.
The colored fringes denote areas of recent ground deformation as measured by satellite radar, indicating uplift associated with a magmatic intrusion.
The near-term outlook for Kīlauea remains unchanged. Observatory scientists say the unrest may continue to wax and wane with changes to the input of magma into the area, and eruptive activity could occur in the near future with little or no warning. There is currently no sign of an imminent eruption. If an eruption were to occur, scientists expect to see increased inflation and earthquake activity a few hours before it happens.